Riverside Drive guardrail project survives attempted removal from budget
February 7, 2013
PERTH - The ongoing debate about guardrails on Riverside Drive continued on into budget deliberations last week, with a motion to kill the project defeated.
The plan is to erect guardrails on Riverside Drive as it turns on to Canal Bank Road, at a cost of about $10,000, of which Drummond/North Elmsley Township is kicking in $5,000. A motion by Coun. Ed McPherson to kill the project was defeated.
Grant Machan, the town’s director of environmental services, reported to the council during budget deliberations on Friday, Jan. 25 that there had been one reported crash at the site of the sharp turn.
“The number of incidents that have happened (there) is minimal,” said Coun. Judy Brown. She added that it appeared to be a low traffic area and drivers should instead “slow down.”
However, Coun. Jim Boldt told council that, because there is a doctor’s office in the area, during a personal trip to the site, “I was amazed at the number of cars that go up and down that road on a daily basis,” though he agreed with Brown that “common sense driving is what is important.”
Mayor John Fenik stated his support for the project.
“I don’t support the motion at all,” said Fenik. “We should follow through. It is a medical facility that people use,” he said, referring to the doctor’s office nearby.
Fenik admitted that “the accident rate doesn’t justify the investment,” but that was not the only criteria that should be looked at.
“If even one car goes through there, council will be held liable,” Fenik said. “We are going to be short-sighted if we don’t put this in.”
Coun. Jim Graff agreed that “there is a safety issue here. We have seniors seeking medical attention using that road.”
Deputy Mayor John Gemmell noted that while a driver may be driving poorly on the road if another accident were to occur, other passengers in the car, like children, would be the victims of such poor driving, something he did not want to see.
“You can’t put a price on a life,” said Boldt. “Even if they are an idiot and are driving too fast. We should be proactive and put up signs.”
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